"Stop being so dramatic." - my mother

or "Why performance is important to my writing."


Over the years, I've gravitated most towards two avenues of performance, live literary performance (live lit) and performance art, because they are interactive and collaborative. My live lit teeth were cut in Chicago's scene, and the process has become foundational in my artistic practice. Live lit is an outlet for writing that wants to have an immediate impact and palpable connection with its audience. It helps me continuously generate writing because of performance deadlines, and often I work in collaboration with a director to refine both the content and performative aspects of the piece. I prefer performing live lit from the page (as opposed to memorized or oral telling) because it keeps me focused and connected to the written word.

At the center of the work is a community of artists who deeply believe in the transformational power of storytelling, and want to disrupt and dismantle the dominant narratives in our society that exclude anyone who is not a cis-het, able-bodied and mind white male. The live lit I support amplifies the voices and stories of women, youth, people of color, LGBTQIA folks, the differently abled, and others at a cross-section of multiple identities and marginalized lives.  

My performance art pieces are few but mighty. And really fun. As I tend to tackle more serious content in my live lit practice, my performance art is a chance to engage the audience in a completely different way. I use humor and high energy, and get people physically involved in the content onstage. Performance art is not my primary medium which makes me feel freer to play and experiment. While I recognize these elements are essential in all parts of my practice, they are easier for me to access from within the performance art modality. Thus, I am able to nurture a love of play and experimentation that replenishes my writing and live lit practices.

Copyright 2018 Alyssa Sorresso. All rights reserved.